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Homestays

Information and guidelines for operating a homestay in Raleigh.

Last updated Aug. 30, 2019 - 11:07 am

Homestays provide an opportunity for Raleigh residents to provide lodging to local area visitors. A homestay operator may provide up to two guest rooms in their home for no longer than 30 days for compensation. More information on homestay regulations can be found below. 

Renting a homestay for less than 30 days is considered a type of "overnight lodging" per Unified Development Ordinance Section 6.1.4. 

Homestay Information

Prior to the establishment of Homestay a Wake County tax account number must be obtained and provided to the City of Raleigh. Contact the Wake County Department of Tax Administration for more information about obtaining a tax account number, 919-856-5400.
Homestay Zoning Permit Information
1. Homestays are permitted as a Limited Use in the following zoning districts: R-1, R-2, R-4, R-6, R-10, RX, OX, NX, CX, and DX. To determine the zoning district of your property you may use I-Maps.
2. A full-time resident homestay operator must live on the premises and shall be present for the entire time that a homestay lodger is staying at the property. Temporary day-time absences related to normal residential activity are allowed.
3. In a Residential zoning district the maximum number of overnight guests shall not exceed 2 adults and their minor children.
4. Cooking facilities are not permitted in any homestay bedroom or any exclusive homestay area. See UDO Section 6.4.6.E. for more specific information on what constitutes a cooking facility.
5. Homestay operators shall comply with all applicable State and local laws, including Fire and Building codes, smoke detecting and carbon monoxide detecting equipment, housing codes, and payment of taxes to appropriate government entities, including occupancy taxes.
6. No exterior advertising is permitted.
7. In a Residential zoning district, homestay lodgers shall not utilize the premises for holding special events or gatherings. No activities other than lodging shall be provided on the premises.
8. Every homestay operator shall maintain for a period of 3 years a list of all homestay lodgers staying at the residence.
9. Permit must be renewed annually.
*Note: Please review UDO Section 6.4.6.E. for information regarding civil penalties for Homestay violations, and information on permit revocation.

Before a homestay can be approved, a Wake County tax account number must be obtained and provided to the City of Raleigh. Contact the Wake County Department of Tax Administration for more information about obtaining a tax account number. (Phone number: 919-856-5400).

Where are homestays permitted?Homestays are permitted as a "limited use" for the following zoning districts: R-1, R-2, R-4, R-6, R-10, RX, OX, NX, CX, and DX. (Research your property in iMaps to determine your zoning district).
Does there need to be a full-time, homestay operator?Yes. A full-time homestay operator must live at the premises and must also be present for the entire time a homestay lodger is on property. Temporary absenses for work, errands, etc. are permitted.
How many homestay lodgers can I have at one time?Overnight guests can not exceed two adults and their minor children.
Can I provide a cooking area in the bedroom for my homestay lodgers?No. Cooking facilities, as defined in UDO 6.4.6.E, are not allowed in any homestay bedroom or exclusive homestay area.
Are there other rules or safety requirements for a homestay?Yes. Homestay operators are expected to comply with all State and local laws, including Fire and Building codes, smoke detecting and carbon monoxide detecting equipment, housing codes, and payment of taxes (including an occupancy tax).

Homestay operators are also required to maintain, for a period of three years, a list of all lodgers staying at the residence.
Can I put a sign on my propety to advertise my homestay?No. You cannot have signs advertisting that you are operating a homestay.
Can homestay lodgers host a party or event on the property?No. Homestay lodgers are not allowed to use the premises for holding special events or gatherings. No activities other than lodging are allowed.
How long is my Zoning Permit good for?The Zoning Permit issued to homestay operators must be renewed annually.
Are there penalties for violating the homestay rules?Please review UDO Section 6.4.6.E. for information regarding civil penalties for Homestay violations, and information on permit revocation.

Submittal Requirements

In order to receive the zoning permit needed to operate a homestay, the following information is required to submit to the City of Raleigh:

  1. Homestay application
  2. Owner's affadavit (View an affidavit template).
  3. Homestay floor plan (View a floor plan example).
  4. Notification letters + envelopes (Download a letter template).
  5. Permit fee: $179

Required: Mailed Notification

 

Unsealed, stamped, and addressed envelopes need to be submitted with your permit application. It is required to send mailed notice to all property owners with 100 feet of all sides of the subject property. Each envelope should contain a letter with information on your project. A Homestay notification letter template (click here) is available to download in order to assist with the requirement.
The City of Raleigh Label Maker is a helpful resource that can be used to identify addresses within 100 feet of the subject property.

It is required to send mailed notice of your homestay to all property owners with 100 feet of all sides of the subject property. You must submit unsealed, stamped, and addressed envelopes with your permit application. Each envelope should contain a letter with information on your project. 

A Homestay notification letter template is available to assist with this requirement. The City of Raleigh Label Maker is a helpful resource that can be used to identify addresses within 100 feet of the homestay property.

Helpful Resources

TC-1-19 HomestaysThis is the final text change document that provides all details on the homestay ordinance.
Unified Development OrdinanceThis document provided all guidance on land use and development in the City of Raleigh.

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